Monday, October 16, 2006

'Cause it makes me feel like I'm a man/When I put a spike into my vein/And I tell ya, things aren't quite the same/When I'm rushing on my run/And I feel just like Jesus' son

Ok, so the lyrics are describing another drug, but tell me they're inappropriate.

Dear, oh dear, oh dear. I've had a couple of hours to think about this, and wish to say this at the outset: this news is not confirmed. The report came in The Nation, not exactly the Deep Throat of Pakistani journalism. When's the last time a major story was broken by them? It's normally one of the new channels (nothing on Geo's website so far) or Dawn (nothing in their breaking news section). A lot of our sports scoops come out of the Jang group, and there's nothing in The News either. So if you don't want to believe this story, you have two very good reasons for not doing so: (a) The Nation has never broken an important story before and (b) nobody else, not cricinfo, not the BBC, not any of our other newspapers or news sources, has anything on this.

On the other hand, why the hell would they lie? If this isn't true, don't they realize how stupid they're going to look tomorrow? It's not a ho-hum tabloid story that no one can ever confirm or deny. You know those Shoaib-was-at-a-bar-at-3-in-the-morning-type stories. You can never disprove those types of stories. But this is easily falsifiable: if Asif and Shoaib don't return home tomorrow morning, then both Mr. Agha Akbar and the newspaper he works for end up looking like complete jackasses, to say the least. Why would they risk something like that if it wasn't true?

If it is true, then I'm afraid I simply am not blessed with the mental faculties to deal with the ramifications, though I suppose I could try. The article itself, when talking about the ramifications, contains seriously flawed logic. It says something to the effect of: well, since we are the ones who caught them, and not the ICC, they will not be punished as severely as they would have been if the contrary were true. This is complete nonsense. The ICC will give them as long a ban as they would otherwise, irrespective of how they were caught. Performance-enhancing drugs are performance-enhancing drugs.

The article also talks about 2-year bans, even though Warney only got one when his mum ostensibly gave him a steroids tablet with his breakfast. Do you even want to imagine a Pakistan team without Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif for 24 months? Let's go over our assignments in that period, shall we? Champions Trophy now, at home against Windies for a 3/5 in November-December, in SA for a 3/5 in Jan-Feb, the World Cup, some bullshit ODI tournament, looong break, at home against SA for a 2/5 in Sepetmber-October, in India for a 3/5 in November-December, at home against the Zims for 3 ODIs, at home against Australia in February-March 2008. I think I'll stop there, because that's depressing enough. I swear to God, 4 weeks ago, I thought that Australia series would be our chance to become the best Test team in the world. Now? I don't even want to think about it. And what about the stuff before that? In India. Without Asif, Shoaib and most likely Inzi. 5 tests against SA in the space of 9 months. Without Asif, Shoaib and most likely Inzi. And that's all far into the future; what about next month? Who the fuck is going to get Lara out? Dani? Do you remember what Lara did to Dani last year? As my grandmother would say, Hai Allah.

I haven't even gotten to the effects this would have on anything but our cricket team on the field. But think about the fact that, in a space of about two weeks, we've had the captaincy change hands thrice, two resignations from the Board, rumours of Woolmer leaving and now our two best pacers allegedly caught for performance-enhancing drugs. Speaking to a friend of mine about this, we just started joking on what else could go wrong. We came up with the following:
1. Younis and Yousuf apply for Indian passports.
2. Inzi suffers a heart attack because of his weight.
3. Kamran Akmal retires because of personal concerns.
4. Danish Kaneria, the only non-Muslim on the team, is taken out by one of these Lashkar-e-Jhangvi types.
5. Imran Farhat becomes captain and grows a mohawk.

I'm just not prepared for Sami's return to the team. I'm sorry, I just can't. In fact, I don't think I could follow our team again, at least for the forseeable future. Think about how bad a punch to the gut this would be for our public, who've been steadily getting behind this team over the last 2 years. I can't speak for anyone else, but I know for sure I don't think I'd be able to take it. It would just be too much, like finding out your best friend and your girlfriend have been doing it behind your back forever AND that you're adopted AND that you're going to be fired from your job, all on the same day. In the same conversation in fact.

One thing that should be made clear is that fact that steroids aren't just used for muscle building. In other words, "But Asif is skinny" is not a defense. A lot of the time, steroids are used to get over injuries faster. Both Shoaib and Asif have had a number of injuries in the last 5 months. I'm just saying...

For now, I guess, we'll have to wait and see, for at least a few hours. But, man, if it turns out to be true, the shit won't just hit the fan: the fan will somehow metamorphose into a shit-fan, so that it constantly sprays shit for the rest of eternity, even when its switched off or the electricity's gone. Let's all hope and pray that doesn't happen, shall we?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

delightful analogies.